About Life With My 39 Children and many grandchildren
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I Wanna Be Alone
Do you spend more and more time alone because you think that no one understands what you’ve experienced or what you’re going through?
Social withdrawal is avoiding people and activities you would usually enjoy; for some people, this can progress to a point of social isolation, where you may even want to avoid contact with family and close friends and just be by yourself most of the time. You may want to be alone because you feel it’s tiring or upsetting to be with other people. Sometimes a vicious cycle can develop where the more time you spend alone, the less you feel like people understand you, and the less you feel like people understand you, the more time you want to spend alone.
Well, clearly, no one does know what it's like to raise 39 kids, 38 of which had endured major childhood trauma, inflicting it upon the 39th one, which was actually the first one, and The Mama.
I've long come to terms that there is no gratitude, but that there continues to be year after year of lashing out and back at the only one who hung in there has taken its deleterious toll on me.
Those that can comprehend, well, they've done so. Some have tried to over-compensate, to make up for that which their siblings can't do, and I don't want them to be bearing that burden at all.
I find social isolation to be very healing for me, the peace and quiet I find in my gardens, the work that energizes me, the elimination of social stress, where I don't have to dress up decently, nor wear make-up, or make small talk...this is what I crave so deeply and intensely after so many years of trauma, aggression, and violence.
I want to own very little, I want to not take care of stuff, I want the inner freedom to smile and not have a rager irrationally wanting me to not smile.
People who have experienced a traumatic event sometimes withdraw or isolate themselves. Social withdrawal and social isolation can make it difficult to do the things you normally would enjoy or sometimes make it hard to get through the day.
I'm not self-medicating, I'm not depressed. I'm mowing for Pete's Sake, or I'm repainting, or repairing broke down items that barely survived repeated onslaughts of temper dysregulation.
Allowing social withdrawal or social isolation to continue unchecked will only make your situation more challenging, so it’s important to address what’s causing you to want to be alone. Although it may be the last thing you feel like doing, it is important to reach out to your family, friends, or fellow Veterans. Reestablishing or increasing contact can help you feel less isolated, and can be good for your well-being. Research shows that spending time talking with family or friends can make you feel better and has a positive effect on your health.
Clearly I'm reading PTSD information for veterans coming from a war, but, Hello? Where do you think I've been for the last ten years? It's been a constant combat war zone, one in which severely traumatized teenagers, or severely emotionally disturbed, violent future felons have wreaked havoc upon my conservative, librarian, church lady life.
It's now not that way anymore, I do still have some very unreasonable, oppositionally defiant ones, there's still trauma issues galore, but the level of violence has decreased almost totally, now allowing me to think that I can begin to heal within my ravaged mind.
I don't see isolation as a negative aspect. I crave it, I really, really do.
To have lived for so very long in a situation that defied all logic, has left me severely emotionally injured.
In this particular war zone, I didn't have back-up troops, nor a flak jacket, nor weapons to defend myself with at any time.
I logically understand that folks with such severe primal issues can't help themselves in creating chaos all the time, as that's their comfort zone. Violence makes them feel alive. They see nothing wrong now, as young adults, with getting rip roaring drunk, that's cool to them, or of scamming people, conversely they see my honesty as idiotic. I'm a mark, a dweeb to them.
I don't want to argue, I know I can't convince them to change their ways any more than they could convince me to let go of God. I wanna take great pains to avoid conflict, thus I need to avoid humanity it seems to me.
I don't wanna go out in public with a fakey smile, nor do I wanna unload emotionally.
I just wanna find me again, the once happy-go-lucky, irrepressible, optimistic me that got battered and destroyed as I simply tried to help some traumatized children have a decent childhood...where they fought me every step of the way..
I wanna lose my bitterness and resentment, I wanna see the world as a better place again, not fraught with problems.
I wanna feel safe again.
I truly believe that I need a great deal of alone time in which to get to that point.
In the meantime, Nando and I are picking, and pigging out upon, scuppernongs and muscadines.
I'll go the soccer park tonight for two soccer games, but I'll either pace the sidelines or park my chair a decent distance from others. I'm afraid I'm emitting a sulfurous smell of discontent.